Criminal legal aid is defined as your representation or, where appropriate, counsel’s representation [section 21(4) of The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986] in the steps preliminary to or incidental to criminal proceedings.
Criminal legal aid is available in the following courts:
This Part of this Act applies to legal aid in connection with criminal proceedings before any of the following:
Criminal legal aid shall consist of representation by:
This grant will include all such assistance as is usually given by you or counsel in the steps preliminary to or incidental to criminal proceedings.
Summary criminal legal aid [section 24 of The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986] is not available until the conclusion of the first diet at which the accused has tendered a plea of not guilty.
Legal aid in summary proceedings
Criminal legal aid shall be made available to your client in summary proceedings if we are satisfied:
Legal aid made available to your client may be subject to conditions as we see fit and such conditions may be imposed at any time.
We will take into account the following factors when determining whether it is in the interests of justice that criminal legal aid be made available:
If your client’s application for criminal legal aid in summary proceedings has been refused, we have a procedure that allows you to apply to us for a review of this decision.
If after a review your client is no longer considered eligible, your client may be required to pay back, in part or in full, the criminal legal aid they have already received to the Fund.
The client being prosecuted under summary procedure may not be in receipt of criminal legal aid and may not be represented by a solicitor or counsel.
This may be because the client:
However, if the court considers there to be exceptional circumstances within the case they may believe it would be inequitable to proceed without representation and legal aid. The court may adjourn to enable an application for legal aid to be made to us..
Criminal legal aid shall be available to such a client until their application is determined by us.